Lock and security equipment integrator Controlled Key Systems Inc. is based in Irvine, Calif. and has dedicated itself to the commercial, industrial, government and asset management sectors. Founded by Paul Wojdynski in 1983, Controlled Key Systems has partnered closely with CLARK, an Anixter company, since 1988. In 2018, the companies will celebrate 30 years of working together.
“CLARK is our number one, go-to distributor,” says Wojdynski. “They are always there to help and eager to jump in and take care of us.”
Anixter’s acquisition of CLARK Security Products in 2010 greatly expanded CLARK’s product and service offering, adding value to security integrator customers like Controlled Key Systems. “Anixter gave us more resources and opportunities to grow our company,” Wojdynski says. “There was a wider range of products that were introduced to us.”
Controlled Key System’s CLARK account managers serve almost as extensions of the Controlled Key team, saving them time and effort when it comes to large orders. “We’ll tell CLARK that we have an upcoming project with lots of hardware and materials, and they take care of it,” says Wojdynski. “They will follow up quickly, especially on unusual parts orders, to confirm availability and lead times, as these can be very critical to our customers’ security. We don’t have to do any chasing. We know it will turn out perfectly every time. And that’s tremendous peace of mind.”
For any relationship lasting 30 years, trust and loyalty are imperative. Controlled Key Systems and CLARK’s partnership has not only endured but grown stronger through adversity. Wojdynski explains how CLARK gave a big assist to Controlled Key when it really counted.
“When we had difficulty paying bills during the recession, suppliers would put orders on ‘hold’ if we had outstanding payments. But CLARK didn’t abandon us even though we had debt with them,” he says. “CLARK trusted us to pay our bills, and in the end, they benefitted because we secured a $1,250,000 contract and went straight to CLARK for all the materials. We did not consider another company after experiencing the loyalty from CLARK firsthand during a difficult time in business.”
Wojdynski, who got his start in the security industry as a teenager in the 1960s, says he also values Anixter and CLARK’s annual trade shows and seminars. He, and his entire team, take these opportunities to immerse the next generation in the latest security trends and technologies. “Two of my children are learning the business, and they’ve benefitted so much from these educational courses,” he says. “The goal is to have them absorb as much information as possible so they can take over Controlled Key Systems when I retire. These events are very helpful.”
If the past 30 years are any indication, Controlled Key Systems and CLARK will be doing business together long after Wojdynski’s retirement party.
“The biggest driving factor for the longevity of our partnership is the way CLARK treats us as a partner,” he says. “They’re always available to help and have always supported us since the very beginning.”